Ain't no stoppin' us now…

white van man DSCN9143
We’re on the move…as a certain Mr L Vandross once sang.  That’s right ladles and jellyspoons, The Laughing Wolf is continuing his trend of refusing to live more than a couple of years in one place..and is moving across Frankfurt to a beautiful apartment that has just been finished.

I would love to say that I am being a grown up, getting on the property ladder and actually buying the apartment…but no, I will be renting again.  This time I will be renting with CW, and we are both very much looking forward to having you all over to dinner.  Well, not all of you and definitely not you on the left..but the rest of you…you know who you are.

My current apartment has served me well, but it was never supposed to be a long term thing and was nothing more than a bachelor pad.  A poorly decorated, but superbly located bachelor pad.  We are moving to a very quiet part of town…I am not sure how I will cope without the sounds from the pub below lulling me off to sleep.  Although I won’t miss not being able to have a quiet night in due to people shouting me from downstairs.

That all said, the White Van Man does not have to ride again, as a friend of CWs family has offered to do the move for us..which means I just have to help load and unload the van…and when you consider that I have very few actual posessions…it should be nice and easy.

I worked it out that after I moved into the current place, I owned:

3 bookcases

1 bed

1 set of bunk beds

1 computer desk

1 office chair

1 tumble dryer

1 freezer

My computer

Assorted pots/pans/crockery and cutlery

An iron and ironing board

1 ugly set of drawers

I have since added:

2 cheap wardrobes and matching cheap set of drawers

Another office chair

A giant slicer (thanks to CWs Dad)

A coffee pad machine

Fortunately, CW has plenty of stuff…so it will all work out Alien

I think that the best thing about the new apartment is that the toilet is inside…not in the main house stairwell like it is now (and by in the main stairwell I mean in it’s own room..outside the front door of the apartment…..not that we pee in the stairwell).  That and the fact that there is a bathtub and a brand spanking new kitchen that got installed a few days ago.

So there it is, cue massive underestimation of the work required and a marked increase in procrastination when I should be packing.  Oh, and the internet probably won’t get connected in time again..we shall see

Huzzah!

Ok..so I finally caved

Twilight
This post is going to annoy, irritate and possibly upset at least 3 people that I am very close to..my daughter and both M & K.  Unfortunately, this is unavoidable.  Why?  Well…I watched Twilight last night.

We wanted to watch a film and, while we have numerous Hollywood classics available to choose from, CW insisted on finally seeing what all the fuss was about..despite my vigorous protestations.

The play button was hit, and we settled in to watch.  I must add here that neither of us have read the books, but hey..it’s got vampires in it, so it can’t be that bad…they can’t screw up the vampire myth…that’s impossible…right?

Apparently not, apparently it is indeed possible to screw up the vampire myth.  Now, before I move onto the vampire issue (I need to build up as there is very little actual vampire action in the film)..I want to talk about the school.

Is the entire school on drugs?  You know, happy pills…uppers.  As everyone loves her from the beginning.  I spent my formative years moving around various schools and I can say with absolute certainty that a new kid, arriving in a beaten up hunk of junk car who is not exactly a fashion model and clearly uncomfortable with any attention, would not be met with the entire school liking her immediately.

Then the vampires walk in…you can tell it’s them as they are all very very pale and walk in slow motion everywhere.  I can’t tell if that was for dramatic effect, or if this is how vampires are supposed to move in Twilight world.

Don’t get me wrong, I realise that this is supposed to be more a romance than a vampire film..I get it, I really do.  That said, wtf is with the biology class scene.  She sits next to a guy that she has never met..who then runs out of the class and starts trying to move to a different class..and then disappears from school for a while.  When he eventually comes back to school, her reaction is a very hurt “you were gone”..which leads to him being apologetic.  If that were me in that situation, I would have most likely responded with “umm…who the fuck are you, you crazy stalker-psycho-hosebeast?”.

Instead they move into having deep conversations about nothing and it is all a little too teen-angst ridden to be plausible.  He saves her life, then he calls her names, then he hates her, then he likes her..christ, if the costume designer had decided to give her pigtails, he would have been running up to her and pulling them.

Anyway..she figures it out..and strolls past him and into a forest for what is arguably the most pointless scene I have ever seen in a film.  Mr Wannabe Vampire starts leaping about like a some sort of emo frog on cocaine, proclaiming that he is a killing machine…I can’t really argue..he was killing me at that point.

Then he says something along the lines of “I want to show you why we don’t come out in the sunlight”.  Great, thinks I, he is going to sizzle and smoke and be in extraordinary pain to demonstrate to her the danger by which he lives.  No, apparently not..that generally accepted part of vampire lore was obviously too much for the author.  Instead, he looks like he had just left a hen party at a male strip club in Newcastle…covered in glitter ffs.  Strike 1 for vampire lore.

Strike 2 for vampire lore when the author decides, quite conveniently that none of them have the ability to control humans…however, Coca-Frog can read minds of everyone except Miss Teen Angst 2009 and another one can see the future.

Also, the special effects of them running very quickly are outrageously bad..and the least said about him climbing a tree the better.  I think though, that my favourite bit of the whole film has to be the 1980s style face off on the baseball field.  I am sure that they must have cut a breakdance style dance-off from the final film…when the “nasty and evil” vamps turn up and everyone crouches down and leans forward…I almost wet myself.  I would love to have seen them moonwalking and shaking it against each other.

Also, the main baddy vamp can smell the girls scent all the way back to her house, but can’t work out she is human until a bit of wind blows her hair…from half a meter away…give me a fucking break.  At least the fight at the end attempted to show some genuine badass vampire action..well, when he broke her leg anyway.  10 minutes before the end of the film for the first bit of decent action…and it was over after a couple of pulls of a hidden wire and a bite.  Disappointing to say the very least.

I think my lasting memory of the film is that of pressing pause and realising that 40 minutes had gone by and not a single fucking thing had happened…oh, and that there was another hour and 20 minutes left.

So let’s recap here..vampires in the Twilight universe are:

All glittery when caught in the sun
Vegetarians, if they don’t eat humans (w.t.f)
Mind readers (one of them)
Able to tell the future (one of them)
Fine to become doctors and be around all that blood without having a snack or two
Incredibly quick and powerful…but choose to drive a small silver Volvo
Able to control bloodlust by having an angst ridden teenage girl talk bollocks to them
Incapable of having sex without bouncing themselves off a wall and feeling guilty
Emo

Something tells me I won’t be watching “New Moon”.

Now, where is my Blade Trilogy..I need some real vampire films to remind me what they should be like.

Learn a 2nd language…it's useful…honest!

Newark Town Hall
Let me begin this post by stating that after 4 years living and working in Frankfurt, I still don’t speak German.  I speak a bit more than I give myself credit for, and I understand an awful lot, but I don’t speak enough.  Something I want to rectify, but things keep getting in my way….excuses mainly, but I digress.  So you can probably imagine how much German I realistically spoke at age 18 and living in Newark.

It was a nice sunny day in Newark On Trent, birds were singing and my heart was joyful as I left work early to go and visit my parents who were living in Wales at the time.  A relatively straightforward journey, truth be told, that began with a quick trip to the bank before I headed off.

Pretty easy right?  I mean, people make quick visits to the bank every day.  Depending on where you are, you drive to the bank, find a parking space and go into the bank…go back to the car and you are on your way.  It gets simpler every time I read that sentence.

So, I am driving through Newark on the way to the bank and following traffic through to where the bank is.  I remember thinking that it was pretty busy, but parked my car outside the bank and went in.  As it was impossible to start my car without knowing how, I actually left the keys in and the windows down and ran into the bank.  When I was stood in the queue, a noise filtered through to me..the noise of someone (not knowing how) trying to start my car.  I grab my money from the cashier and bomb outside to see what all the hubbub is about.  It is at this moment, as I leave the bank that the dim light of realisation slowly descends upon me and I take in my surroundings for the first time.

Probably the biggest thing that I had failed to notice in my leaving work early euphoria, was that it was Market Day.  Not only was it market day…the market was pretty much over.  Not only was the market pretty much over, the “traffic” that I had followed into the Market Square, where I had ultimately parked outside of the bank…was all market trader vans that were driving in to take down their stalls and pack them away.  Also..as I had parked (quite neatly I might add) on the side of the road…there wasn’t enough room for people to drive their (substantially larger than my car) vans, which had in turn created a giant traffic congestion of vans trying to get out of the market place, vans trying to get into the market place and vans, already in the market place, that were trying to manoeuver into position.

In short, absolute frickin chaos.

The reason for the sound of my car trying to start is now abundantly clear to me…they just want it out of the way.  Fair point, thinks I, but how in the hell am I going to get away with this.  At precisely the moment that I realise I have made somewhat of a booboo, the trader attempting to start my car clocks me..and starts heading towards me very angrily.

Quick as a flash, I remove my work pass from around my neck.  There were two reasons for this…#1 I had come up with a plan and most importantly, #2 I didn’t want this monster to strangle me with it.  Onto the plan…

I am not sure why this popped into my head, having left Germany about 2 years previous and having literally no contact with anyone in Germany or the German language during that time, but I decided that I would break into my least stereotypical, English speaking German accent.

Of course, by least stereotypical, I mean quite possibly the most stereotypical, and quite possibly racist, accent I could have come up with.  Lots of “Vot iss ze problem mit my car and vy are you startink it?” type stuff with added “I don’t unterstantink yew” thrown in for good measure.  I swear, if the producers of Allo Allo had have been anywhere near me, I could quite easily have been the next cast member searching for “Ze fallen Madonna viz ze big boobies”.  Alas, they were not around, my chance at stardom passed in a fleeting instant and I was left panicking and sweating that this monster of a market trader was a) buying it and b) not a German speaker….

Fortunately, upon the realisation that I was a foreigner…he proceeded to follow the tried and tested method of speaking slowly, loudly and gesticulating towards my car in an “away from here” motion.  It drew quite the crowd, with other people trying to help the guy to explain to me what was happening.  We had shouters, we had people making brum brum noises and also the Mime artists…I continued to look suitably confused until I finally jumped in the car.  At which point, they were all very kindly guiding me out from where I was parked and away from the Market place.

To this day I still don’t know why none of them thought it strange that a visiting German, with little or no English speaking ability, would be driving a beaten up old Morris Marina…with English license plates.

Ah well…raise your glass to the kindly hearted market traders of Newark